Monday, January 02, 2006

Occupation profit center

Ghada Karmi on the international aid industry and the Palestinians:

"By paying up without caveat, donors in effect relieve Israel of its obligations under international law. As the occupying power, Israel must deliver assistance and services to the Palestinian population. As high contracting parties to the Geneva conventions, the donors are obliged to ensure Israel's compliance with the law. None of this has happened. Instead, international aid has rendered the occupation cost-free. It has even enriched Israel's economy: according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, for every dollar produced in the occupied territories, 45 cents flows back to Israel."

Israel's recent unilateral decision to control Palestinian use of certain areas of Gaza proves that Israel is still an occupying power over Gaza, despite the well publicized withdrawal. Of course, Israel is still clearly the occupying power over the West Bank. The Israeli 'uniqueness' means that the world doesn't even question the fact that Israel makes absolutely no effort to meet its international law obligations as an occupying power, and in fact constantly strives with its American stooges to eliminate U. N. efforts to provide relief to the Palestinians. Israel even blows up facilities provided by international donors, who simply send more money in with no complaint about the Israeli actions or the fact that a good portion of the reconstruction money will flow directly back into Israel. For Israel, the occupation is even a profit center! Blow up a school paid for by a donor nation with a helicopter and a bomb paid for by American taxpayers, then grab a good portion of the new donor money provided to rebuild the school. What a deal! Rather than face being called anti-Semites, and feeling guilty about the mass poverty in the Palestine, the donor nations do the only thing they can do, which is send more money.

With everybody waging and planning illegal wars of aggression, with American rendition and torture and Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, with Israel's constant scoffing at its obligations under international law including its obligations as an occupying power, you really have to ask: Does international law still exist?